Stay or go...

There was a knock at the door of number 7. Peering outside the girl saw a jewellery stand with a compartment underneath, how nice she thought, picked it up, and looked inside…
What if murder was so common it was expected?
Sometimes the most beautiful things hold the darkest secretes.


3. The meeting

My three pounding knocks vibrate through the house and not long after the door is opened and I am hit by a nauseating odour of unwashed, well unwashed everything! Gasping and reeling from the stench I find myself blushing because of my atrocious manners. I raise my eyes sheepishly from their downcast position and as they journey upwards I take in the appearance of the man who has opened the door. He wears: worn, spotted leather lace up boots: speckled with dust and releasing a stench of rotting fish that tickled my nose; making me want to gag and sneeze. The man’s denim dungarees were in the same appalling state, and his long-sleeved shirt had holes in from the ash of his cigarette that hangs out of the corner of his slit-like mouth. His lips are cracked and caked in dry blood, speckled with grey ash. Moreover, his straggerly curtain of yellowy-whitish hair looked like it had never even been introduced to a hairbrush and it concealed his eyes like a curtain. His dishevelled appearance made me want to squirm; however, I refrained from doing so when I saw his metallic, grey eyes.

The breath leaves my body in one big whoosh, like the steam escaping from the funnel of a steam engine. Those eyes have the same effect on me as the dementors’ do to wizards/witches in ‘Harry Potter’. Happiness drains from my body as though someone’s pulled a plug to let it all out. The second that our eyes lock seems like an eternity, an eternity that will haunt me for the rest of my days. That is, if I have a life after today, my future seems bleak and uncertain, I feel as though I will drop dead any second if I gaze upon these devilish, mournful eyes any longer. They are filled with sadness greater than any I have ever experienced (and that’s saying something considering my husband left me), swimming with pure hate and malevolence that even the devil couldn’t match. I feel as though the overflowing emotion is directed at me. No, that is ridiculous! I am incapable of rational thought.

“Go ‘way”, the aged man commands me, his voice cracking from lack of use. He turns, sneering at my pale face. He obviously has had the desired effect on me. But I want to find out the truth behind this bizarre event, and what haunts this man. Vowing to find out I squeeze my way through an overgrown hawthorn bush that is obstructing a small, weed ridden path that runs round the back of the house. The rest of the path is no improvement but I eventually manage to find a window that contains a view of the man.

Squinting in through the grime encrusted window, I watch spellbound as a sort of ritual begins to unfold before my eyes. However, my mouth tastes a metallic tang of fear and foreboding, making me nervous and apprehensive. I jump as something sinister moves in the shadows; I’m relieved when I realise that it’s just a black cat lurking in the shadowy recess of a yew tree, watching, waiting, for an unsuspecting mouse to wonder idly into its razor sharp claws. Turning my eyes away from the to-be-murder-scene, I peer inside the house again and take in the cobweb cloaked room. Boxes line the walls; I read the label on one nearby and suddenly turn cold. Sweat meanders down my spine and perspiration droplets form on my forehead.

The old man takes a figure of a beautiful woman and sticks her with infinite care and precision on top of a small compartment, then he proceeds to snap off the head and arms of the statue with unnerving focus, hate edged onto his yellow tinted face. Then he places the body parts into the compartment, engraving something into the lid, I can’t see what. The he drives golden hooks into the gaps left by the missing limbs and head. It’s a jewellery stand. My eyes pop as I suddenly realise what he is doing, I retch. Hearing the noise, the man spins round, locks eyes with me and everything goes black.

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